Architectural photography encompasses a deep understanding of composition, lighting, and visual storytelling. Top architectural photographers use their technical proficiency to shoot the beauty, form, and function of buildings.
Also, they incorporate their own artistic style and perception. They work with different equipment, including specialized cameras, lenses, lighting rigs, and editing software to create visually stunning & informative images.
Professional architectural photographers possess various characteristics that set them apart from others in the field. Here are some of the most important traits:
Technical skills: Best Architectural photographers have excellent technical skills in photography, including knowledge of camera settings, lighting, composition, and post-processing.
Attention to detail: They pay a close eye to every detail of the architecture they are photographing, including angles, textures, colors, and lines.
Creative vision: Professional architectural photographers have a unique and artistic vision for shooting buildings and structures in visually impressive and memorable ways.
Strong portfolio: They have a strong and professional portfolio of their work, showcasing their capability to capture different architectural styles and designs.
Communication skills: They have excellent communication skills and can work closely with architects, designers, and other clients. Thus he/she will understand their vision and capture it through photography.
Passion for architecture: Top architectural photographers have a deep passion for architecture and a keen eye for its beauty and intricacies.
Adaptability: They are adaptable and can work in different environments, from natural lighting to artificial lighting. Also, they can adjust their techniques and equipment accordingly.
The list can be long if we include all the famous architectural photographers of current times. However, we will try to incorporate the top architectural photographers whom every aspiring photographer can follow to learn the arts and crafts of architectural photography.
Mike Kelly is an architectural photographer originating from Los Angeles, California. In his early years, he met some great mentors, which later paved his way to becoming a professional photographer. But he never made up his mind until after his graduation when he tried professional snowboarding for a couple of years.
But within a few years, he got several injuries which forced him to take up architectural photography as a profession. He founded Architectural Photography Almanac which is a platform for newbie photographers who want to learn the art and craft of this field.
João Morgado is an award-winning architectural photographer based in Portugal. After completing his graduation in architecture, he attended the studio of prestigious architect Wiel Arets, where he found his interest in architecture photography. He uses remote-controlled drones to capture buildings and architectural structures from above.
Fernando Guerra is a photographer of architecture based in Lisbon, Portugal. Fifteen years earlier, he opened the photography studio FG+SG with his brother. They have indispensable contributions to representing Portuguese architecture to the world.
Fernando Guerra’s work is frequently published in different national and international magazines such as Casabella, Wallpaper, Dwell, Icon, Domus, A + U, among many others. In 2012, he assumed the role of Canon Ambassador of Europe for architectural photography.
Ishita completed her graduation and postgraduation in Architecture from reputed institutes like SCET, Surat, and Cornell University respectively. She changed her career track because of her deep-rooted passion for photography. Another turning point in her career was when she married Ravi Mistry who also happened to be a great photographer and educator.
As a result, she got inspiration in pursuing architectural and interior photography from her husband. Her first few projects were from her college friends, and she was never in short of new projects as luckily she got published quickly. Consequently, she has got the chance to work with several renowned architects and designers.
Matthias Haker is a famous architectural photographer based in Berlin, Germany. He combines his love of architecture and art to create distinct forms of architectural photography that make use of color and space. He creates amazing juxtapositions of decrepit buildings and surrounding greeneries of his love of abandoned buildings.
Daniel Cheong, though originally of Chinese descent, was born in Mauritius and has French nationality. He does not emphasize reality in his architectural photographs. Rather he takes HDR photographs and blends them together to give an effect that differs slightly from reality. He calls this hyperreality and tries to achieve this in his works.
Mike Hollman is an architectural, landscape, and travel photographer based in Auckland, New Zealand. He is also a Nikon Ambassador for New Zealand and a Grand Master of Photography (GMNZIPP) with the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography.
His unique style of architectural photography was awarded and acclaimed both domestically and internationally. His work has been featured in many books and magazines including the cover of National Geographic.
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj is an international award-winning architectural photographer based in Chandigarh, India. His strengths are in experimenting with illusions, patterns, and abstract perspectives for storytelling. He worked with many renowned international design practices including Woha, Blocher Partners, M Moser, etc.
His main interest lies in the area of architectural and landscape photography, and video making. In his signature works, he combines psychological, philosophical, and existential perspectives.
Andrés Gallardo is a self-taught photographer from Spain, currently living in Estonia. He got his first camera in 2012 as a gift from his mother. After finding that camera, he got attached to architectural photography since then. Many of his photos can be found in famous publications such as Architectural Digest, National Geographic, Der Spiegel, BBC, The Guardian, etc. Architectural photography is a hobby, he always likes to represent reality in his projects.
Sebastian Zachariah is an established interior, architecture, and hospitality photographer from India. He is the creative director of the Photographix (PHX) India team. He is famous in the field of interior architecture photography for his sharp sense of styling and attention to detail. His focus on adapting to the site dynamics and meeting the commitment to achieve client objectives is the main reason behind his success.
Nic Lehoux is a highly acclaimed architectural photographer based in Vancouver, Canada. His photographs are characterized by the use of lighting techniques and attention to detail. He is excellent to capture the essence of a building’s design and translate it into stunning pictures.
Lehoux has worked with some world’s leading architects, including Bjarke Ingels Group, Frank Gehry, Studio Gang, NADAA, and Renzo Piano. Numerous publications, including Architectural Record, Dwell, and The New York Times have featured his works.
Michael J. Lee is a Boston-based architectural photographer and interior designer. He has a combined experience of 28 years in these fields. Many of his works are published on the front cover of magazines and books. He worked for two great firms as an interior designer before starting his career as a photographer. His success relies on his ability to balance between the still and the dynamic of each image.
Iwan Baan is a dutch architecture photographer. Iwan’s love for photography started on his twelfth birthday when his grandmother gifted a camera for him. He loves to capture architectural photographs that narrate the stories of how individuals and society interact with the built environment.
Baan regularly collaborates with top architects such as Rem Koolhaas, Diller Scofidio & Renfro, Toyo Ito, etc. He also collaborated on several successful book projects.
You may also read: Top Macro Photographers to Follow For Inspiration
Architectural photography, like any other photography niche, requires creativity and most importantly an eye to see the beauty in the buildings, structures, and forms. We have shared the list of the most renowned and top architectural photographers of this time, so you can gather inspiration and realize the crafts from their works. Hopefully, it will be a helpful resource to take inspiration to take your photography skill to another level.